Tyndall Manchester Seminar- Wild Interdisciplinarity: Reflections on Doing Social Science within a Technology Project
|Starts:||16:00 21 Apr 2016|
|Ends:||17:30 21 Apr 2016|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Current University students, General public|
|Speaker:||Dr. Murray Goulden|
Drawing on the experiences of a novel collaborative project between sociologists and computer scientists, this paper identifies a set of challenges for fieldwork that are generated by this ‘wild interdisciplinarity’. Public Access Wi-Fi Service(PAWS) was a project funded by an 'in-the-wild' research programme, involving the study of digital technologies within a marginalised community, with the goal of addressing digital exclusion. We argue that similar forms of research, in which social scientists are involved in the deployment of experimental technologies within real world settings, are becoming increasingly prevalent. The fieldwork for the project was highly problematic, with the result that few users of the system were successfully enrolled. We analyse why this was the case, identifying three sets of issues which emerge in the juxtaposition of interdisciplinary collaboration and wild setting. We conclude with a set of recommendations for projects involving technologists and social scientists.
Dr. Murray Goulden
Role: Research Fellow
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Biography: Murray Goulden is a Research Fellow at the Horizon Institute, University of Nottingham. His interests lie in the ethnographic study of the role of technologies in creating, maintaining, and reconfiguring social and organisational practices, particularly in the fields of energy and ICT. His work draws on sociology, STS and HCI to inform the design of both policy and technical systems.
Travel and Contact Information
George Begg Building